Not only is there a show, you can buy all kinds of nice things from stalls at the back of the hall. Last time I got a gorgeous vintage apron from Cotton Candy and this time I saw this beautiful fascinator by Looby Loobycreations. (Get off, cat! that is mine. Sorry midears, about putting pix of my pussy on here - wink.) It was totally me but I have just had to buy a whole range of footwear and sporting gear for Piglet (my child) so I was going to give it the skip. Naughty Ex-Student scooped it up for me, which was very bad of her and I shall punish her severely – if she pays me enough (wink).
Last time I trolled along to the show, you’ll remember that I was lucky enough to end up on a table of kind gennelmen who were most generous with offers of drinks (thank you very much!). This time I took along a couple of girlfriends. The show is always great fun and people are most kind if you are on your own – not just kind gennelmen, LOL, everyone is friendly. There was a lovely lady sitting at our table who had come on her own, and we and others at the table were delighted to chat with her as well as with our own groups of pals. However there is no question that seeing the show with friends in tow is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (and you can get discounts for large groups).
When I first went to a show, my initial anxiety was of course: What to Wear. I assure you, you can wear pretty much anything (or not much at all). My pal Phoenix Mum was wearing a nice skirt and blouse, and she felt fine. Meanwhile my other friend (Naughty Ex-Student) was wearing her collar. She had thought she would feel over-dressed in spite of my assurances to the contrary, but rapidly realised she was under-stated if anything. We were surrounded by basques and zombies in top hats and some people in t-shirts and jeans.
The burlesque is already good enough reason to go along to the shows - as the boys I met last time remarked to me (“best £12 I’ve ever spent!”). To get as part of the package a fire-eating Mona Lisa (GiGi Sextone) and Mr George Orange the handyman managing to squeeze his bum in and out of a dustbin, was a definite bonus. The sexy Alexi von Flexi’s Houdini contortionism showed that you don’t even have to take your clothes off to make a very attractive show.
But hooray, they did take their clothes off! This time around the stars of the show for me were the Cardiff Burlesque troupe as a whole. I bet I am not the only one still humming ‘Mein Herr’ from Cabaret. It was a great treat to see that number being performed live on the burlesque stage, and they did it so well. Of course the troupe has a whole range of performers from absolute beginners to the great FooFoo herself; they are all so well choreographed that all you think is what a great time they and you are having.
The saccharine role models offered by Disney films provide some rich material for the burlesque performers to work with. I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing at the first show I went to, FooFoo LaBelle’s Little Mermaid, which had every mum of a little girl in the audience wetting herself laughing. At A Night in the Museum, we had a fabulous Evil Queen from Snow White by Bonita Boudoir. If you are being supplanted as fairest in the land by some wretched young pulchritudinous ingenue, and you are an older lady who knows a thing or two, you can seduce the genii of the magic mirror with your sexy moves and feminine wiles. I heard Vincent Price once being asked what was the scariest film he'd ever seen. He said when he was a kid, he was so frightened by the Evil Queen in Snow White that he ran out of the cinema. As a grown-up he would have run towards her not away from Bonita Boudoir's interpretation of naughty monarch!
As a lovely contrast, Foo offered us an exquisite Constanza à la Peter Shaffer Amadeus. It was first time as a solo artist for Sweet Fanny Adams, and I hope for lots more wild womanly stuff from her. Fancy Nancy exercised her usual shy and sweet charm clearing up the knickers and basques from the stage under MC Frank Honeybone's wistful eye - on this occasion as a ghostly Victorian maid-of-all-works.
I want to give a particular mention to Flossie Smalls. She gave us two different but equally creative acts in “Fallen” - Meiko dances out her feelings of being scorned in love, and “Finding her feet” - the faun who longs to fit a pair of beautiful shoes on her hooves (God, that feeling of finding the perfect shoes ... which they don’t have in your size, eeek!). Because I am part Japanese myself, I enjoyed the careful research which had obviously gone into “Fallen”. This was an act well beyond some orientalist twirling of a paper parasol; correct me if I’m wrong but even the big classic briefs, rather than thong, seemed characteristically Japanese.